Cigital Helps Secure Smart Grid Communications

by Cigital on Friday, February 1, 2013

Over the last two years Cigital has been funded by NRECA to work with the MultiSpeak community to develop a security specification for the MultiSpeak protocol.  MultiSpeak is a web services based protocol that helps various smart grid systems within the electric utility’s environment to interoperate.  MultiSpeak would for instance enable a meter data management (MDM) system to talk to the billing system, and for an outage management system (OMS) to talk to the geographic information system (GIS).  Thanks to the new MultiSpeak security standard, this communication can now happen in a secure fashion where confidentiality and integrity of the communication is maintained.  For more information, please see the NRECA press release.

Developing the MultiSpeak security standard has been a long process, involving many stakeholders, such as various vendors comprising the MultiSpeak Technical Committee, as well as NIST, and NRECA.  The vote last month was pretty much unanimous to adopt the new security standard.  NIST also had a chance to provide their input throughout the process and the new standard will now be officially reviewed by NIST’s Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP).

As we achieve this milestone, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all the folks who made this possible.  Paco Hope, Sammy Migues and  Amit Sethi all provided technical leadership towards development of this standard.  I specifically wanted to thank Amit Sethi for diligently working with the MultiSpeak community, leading the technical discussions, and incorporating feedback.  Also wanted to thank Girish Janardhanudu and Drew Kilbourne for their support of the effort.

We will now look for opportunities to build on top of this work.  Cigital remains committed to the MultiSpeak security effort and plans to extend the company’s existing relationships with the Smart Grid vendors to assist with the secure implementation of the standard.

Posted by Evgeny Lebanidze, Managing Consultant